light (adj.)
Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need.
Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927), ‘Three Men in a Boat’
Rowing boats, Derwent Water, Cumbria. © Krautrock, Wikimedia Commons.
diligent (adj.)
Where wages are high, we shall always find the workmen more active, diligent, and expeditious, than where they are low.
Adam Smith (1723-1790), ‘Wealth of Nations’
Historic textile machinery in Burnley, Lancashire. © Clem Rutter, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.
gaze (vb)
It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.
David Livingstone (1813-1873), ‘Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa’
Victoria Falls, Zambia. © Joachim Huber, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0.
shape (vb)
We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Vyne House, Hampshire. © Simon Q, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 2.0.
invention (n.)
The locomotive is not the invention of one man, but of a nation of mechanical engineers.
Robert Stephenson (1803-1859)
Caprotti valvegear, BR Standard 5MT No. 73129. © Phil Sangwell, Wikimedia Commons.
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On This Day
The Battle of Plassey in Bengal, India (1757) 1 post
June 23rd, 1757
The Battle of Plassey in Bengal, India
The Battle of Plassey
Music: George Frideric Handel
A year after the infamous ‘Black hole of Calcutta’, Robert Clive was sent to exact retribution.

DEFEAT at the hands of the Kingdom of Travancore in 1741 was a body blow to the Dutch in India. And to the disappointment of the French, Robert Clive’s victory at Arcot in 1751 ensured that Britain’s friend, Mohammed Ali Khan Wallajah, became Nawab of the Carnatic in the south.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Ally. Friend. Confederate.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Man. Cause. Trade.

Use together in one sentence: Cause. Northeast. Artillery.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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Edmond Halley
Music: William Herschel
Edmond Halley will forever be associated with the comet named after him, but his greatest achievement was getting Sir Isaac Newton to publish ‘Principia Mathematica’.

AT nineteen, Edmond Halley was assistant to John Flamsteed, the Astronomer Royal at the Greenwich Observatory, and at twenty-two he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, in recognition of his work mapping constellations and observing weather patterns on the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Expensive. Expendable.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Research. Discipline. Change.

Use together in one sentence: More. All. Probably.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

A Solemn Duty
Music: Joseph Boulogne Chavalier de Saint Georges
Monsieur St Aubert falls seriously ill on a walking tour with his daughter Emily, and before the end asks an unexpected favour.

“HEAR, then, what I am going to tell you. The closet, which adjoins my chamber at La Vallee, has a sliding board in the floor. You will know it by a remarkable knot in the wood, and by its being the next board, except one, to the wainscot, which fronts the door.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Insure. Ensure. Assure.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Distance. Slide. Board.

Use together in one sentence: Sigh. When. Attention.

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The (Fairly) Honest Lawyer
Music: Joseph Boulogne Chavalier de Saint Georges
Andre-Louis Moreau lives for vengeance on the master swordsman who killed his friend.

“MY enemy is a swordsman of great strength — the best blade in the province, if not the best blade in France. I thought I would come to Paris to learn something of the art, and then go back and kill him. You see, I have not the means to take lessons otherwise.”

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Impulse. Impel.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Fill. Notice. Say.

Use together in one sentence: Chance. Fail. Providence.

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‘The Overland Mail’
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
A tribute to the postal workers of British India, and to the kind of empire they helped to build.

IN the name of the Empress of India, make way,
O Lords of the Jungle wherever you roam,
The woods are astir at the close of the day—
We exiles are waiting for letters from Home—
Let the robber retreat; let the tiger turn tail,
In the name of the Empress the Overland-Mail!

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Dusk. Dawn.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Dot. Bill. Cry.

Use together in one sentence: Date. Post-office. Close.

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The Sneeze of History
Music: Alexei Fyodorovich Lvov
It was the opinion of Leo Tolstoy that even Napoleon was never master of his own destiny.

MANY historians say that the French did not win the battle of Borodino because Napoleon had a cold, and that if he had not had a cold the orders he gave before and during the battle would have been still more full of genius and Russia would have been lost and the face of the world have been changed.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Appear. Seem. Seam.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Say. Order. Fight.

Use together in one sentence: Saviour. Become. Many.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.